3-0 win over Dothan shows improvement for Bearcat soccer at crucial time of season
Published 4:43 pm Friday, March 24, 2017
Coming off of a 6-1 loss to Harris County, the Bainbridge men’s soccer team was in need of a solid, fundamental win to get their feet back underneath them. That win came Tuesday night in Dothan, Alabama, when the Bearcats beat the Dothan Tigers 3-0.
The Bearcats started out slow. The first ten or so minutes of the game were discombobulated, but once the Bearcats clicked as a team the door opened. Caleb Harris found the back of the net in the ’13 minute to jump up 1-0.
The Bearcats took their foot off the gas for the remainder of the first half, but shortly after play resumed Angel Martinez scored a goal off an assist from Gavyn Albritton in the ’59 minute.
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With the Bearcats up 2-0, the game slowed down yet again. With 30 seconds to spare, Robert Hayes found the back of the net for his first goal of the year.
“We didn’t come together early, but once we got settled in we really started playing our game,” said head coach Rick Lewis. “I was very pleased with the way the team was running.”
Although the game was an out-of-state match up that has virtually no affect on Bainbridge’s overall season, the win against Dothan served two very important roles.
What was happening when the game slowed down for the majority of the first half was the Bearcats changed game plan and formation on the fly. The Bearcats started in a 3-3-4 and changed mid game to a 3-4-3 formation to put more emphasis on defense.
Up to this point, the Bearcats have not been successful in making in-game adjustments, so being able to change formations efficiently during the game is a sign the team is moving in the right direction at the right part of the season.
“When I saw that we were having trouble with some of their guys I was able to communicate the word to everybody to move to a different formation to seal things up,” said Lewis. “It was really the first time this year we made mid-game corrections that paid off for us.”
The other important take-away is from a confidence standpoint for the Bearcats. The way the schedule falls, the Bearcats need to pull off three straight region wins to solidify themselves in the playoffs. There are other routes to the playoffs but winning the last three region games removes all doubt of the Bearcats post-season situation.
“I think the confidence we get from beating a quality team, whether its Dothan or anywhere else for that matter, the boost we get from beating a quality team very soundly is huge,” said Lewis. “I’m very excited for them and I see that excitement build in.”
That confidence and excitement needs to manifest against region opponents, but the Bearcats seem to be peaking at just the right time to make an impact on their season.
The Bearcats are 5-6 on the season.